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Why do stock markets crash?

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It was a close call today as to who was more jittery — financial markets or financial journalists.

When things are moving as rapidly as they were this morning (a 1000 point fall in the Dow Jones tends to be unsettling) the appetite for expert commentary is huge.

Much of what landed in inboxes today was good. Flaks have got much better at responding to these sort of days (they have had plenty of practice in the last ten years).

The bit that tends to be lacking is an explanation of WHY what just happened happened.

Too much of what we received told us what was occurring, which while not unhelpful, we can mostly see for ourselves.

In news conferences this afternoon and tomorrow, City Editors will be expected to have a highly coherent explanation for what just happened and what will happen next.

Other bits of the paper don’t get why we don’t automatically know and begin to doubt our value. Help us look smart, we’ll remember you for it.

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